President Donald Trump on Monday urged Congress to privatize the U.S. air traffic control system, saying it would make U.S. airports more efficient.
At a White House event attended by GOP lawmakers, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and airline industry representatives, Trump signed a letter sending his legislative priorities to Congress. The event was largely symbolic, as lawmakers need to pass a plan before Trump can sign it into law.
The push to privatize air traffic control, largely supported by U.S. airlines and long backed by some congressional Republicans, would separate the function from the Federal Aviation Administration. In his remarks, Trump said he seeks to set up a "self-financing, nonprofit organization" that will not need taxpayer money to function.
"If we adopt these changes, Americans can look forward to cheaper, faster and safer travel," Trump said.
The complex FAA air traffic control system oversees about 50,000 flights in the U.S. per day and is considered one of the safest in the world. However, it has faced criticism over the pace of its transition from radar systems to satellite and digital operations.